Sometimes your perfectionism can work for you.
It can work for you when you choose what seems like the perfect choice for you. The choice that feels good, that makes your spirit soar and sometimes even makes your toes tingle.
The perfect choice can come about when you reach deep into the well of what you want draw in your desires.
How do you know?
Perhaps you can never know for sure, but you need to trust yourself to make what is the perfect choice for you.
Last night I got an email from school with the list of clubs for the coming school year. I know of course what clubs I would have picked for my daughter and the perfectionist mummy part of me deeply wanted to sway her judgement about what I thought would be good choices for her.
I let that part of me go and drink a cup of red bush with vanilla when the choices were to be made.
One choice – wellness classes or wildlife club?
Of course wellness would be a good choice with its mixture of yoga and meditation – perfect for children of this world of overwhelm that we live in – a huge tick in the box for a perfectionist mummy.
But for a girl who has cuddly toys each with individual names, wildlife club speaks to the soul. On Monday she drew herself surrounded by carefully drawn pictures of a mouse lemur, a toucan, a lioness and a common tern that we referenced from internet pictures at her request. (common tern as it features in the hymn ‘From the tiny ant…’)
Wellness club just wasn’t going to cut it, no matter what mummy thought would be the ‘perfect’ choice.
She went through the choices easily and with the deep self-knowledge that some adults can only dream of.
I asked her, how did she know which to choose?
She said she thought about what she liked and then tried to think about it again and then chose what was right.
How often do we as adults allow ourselves to think about what is is that we like and then go with that, rather than something that might seem like a more sensible or developmental choice?
So I can learn from this the importance of letting my daughter make her own choices where it is safe for her to do so.
I can also learn the importance of making my own choices and tapping into what it is that I really want.
My Martha Beck coach training really helped with this as we are taught how to tap into our ‘body compass.’
My coaching buddy Christel pointed out that this was exactly what my daughter had done when she had tapped into her inner knowing about what the right choices for her were.
How to use your body compass. (based on the work of Dr Martha Beck in ‘Finding Your Own North Star’)
Please only use this if you are generally emotionally stable and not suffering from depression or addiction.
- Imagine a scale from minus ten to plus 10. Minus ten is how your body felt at the worst moment of your life. Plus ten is how your body felt at your most positive life experience.
- Imagine a time that was about a minus seven and that you know that won’t cause you major trauma that will send you into a tailspin that you can’t get out of.
- See that event and use all your senses. What could you see, hear, taste and smell?’
- Where is that on the scale? Is it a minus seven or in fact somewhere else on the scale? Do a scan of your body from your toes to your head and notice what sensations you are feeling in your body and where you are feeling them. Give an easy to remember nickname for the feeling. (e.g. darkness looming)
- Now shake that off. Stand up and shake like a dog or duck coming out of water. Get all Taylor Swift with it.
- Now choose a very positive time in your life. It can be a plus ten, but if you don’t have plus ten don’t worry not everyone does.
- Again experience it in your imagination with as many of your senses as you can.
- Where is that on the scale? Is it high on the scale or in fact somewhere else on the scale? Do a scan of your body from your toes to your head and notice what sensations you are feeling in your body and where you are feeling them. Give an easy to remember nickname for the feeling. (e.g. champagne)
- Now in your everyday start to notice where what you are doing or going to do falls on the body compass scale and use the experiment you did today to help you given an indication of this.
These are some first steps to making your perfect choices. This is one of the tools that I go through with a client one-to-one when we are beginning our work together. It is part of how we build a foundation of trust and love both within the coaching relationship and for the individual to build trust in themselves.
If you find yourself unable to connect with your body then know that this is the case for some of the clients that I help and everyone has to begin somewhere.
If you’d like to further explore being able to use tools like this in your life through coaching with me then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up a free 30 minute Skype or phone conference chat so we can find if we are a good match for coaching.
Have a perfect imperfect day,